The author of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy offers a powerful approach for helping troubled teens.
In his decades as a therapist, Dr William Glasser has often counselled parents and teenagers. His advice has healed shattered families and changed lives. Now in his first book on the lessons he has learned, he asks parents to reject the 'common sense' that tells them to 'lay down the law', ground teens, or try to coerce them into changing behaviour. These strategies have never worked, asserts Dr Glasser, and never will. Instead he offers a different approach based upon Choice Theory. Glasser spells out the seven deadly habits parents practiSe and then shows them how to accomplish their goals by changing their own behaviour. Above all, he helps parents keep their relationship with their child strong. Dr Glasser provides a groundbreaking method that any parent can use with confidence and love.
I love the idea of Choice Theory and applying it to teens. The book did leave me with a lot of questions such as when do you start using Choice Theory. Obviously, you cannot allow younger children to make all choices for themselves. What things do you look for in your child's personality to know they are ready for this? Also, a lot of the examples used in the book were, frankly, shocking. They are actual examples from Dr. Glasser's practice, but also things I hope I am lucky enough to avoid in my children: anorexia, extreme acting out and jail, etc. I actually skipped some of the chapters.
I would have liked more examples of using Choice Theory with issues that the majority of parents deal with: back-talking, not allowing teens to go to parties where there is no adult supervision when their friends are going, etc.
It's a really great concept for adult relationships.
I'm not sure I agree with everything Glasser recommends in this book, but there are certainly some ideas worth considering when it comes to relationships between parents and their teenagers/young adult children.
The book was good but not impressive. I share Dr. Glasser's view that more problems with teenagers stem from too much control rather than a lack of it. Still, I think he could have worked on his tone more so he does not appear talking down to parents as if they are uneducated novices lost in life.
My favorite quote: "Your life is much more like what happens when, as you approach the traffic light, it turns yellow. There is no certain right or wrong action in that situation."
An excellent, practical, readable book by William Glasser, MD on using Choice Theory with teenagers. Glasser developed the Choice Theory, which rejects the convention external control method (leading to common power struggles among parents and teens) in favor of eschewing the 7 deadly sins (criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing and rewarding to control) in favor of creating an environment of trust and self-control. The book employs terrific case studies to illustrate a huge paradigm shift, and one that totally changes what parents think of as "common sense".